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29 May 2024


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Australian-born pro surfer reaches Paris Olympics with Japan

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 11:12, 13 March 2024  
Australian-born pro surfer reaches Paris Olympics with Japan

Photo: Collected

Australian-born pro surfer Connor O'Leary is off to this summer's Paris Olympics with Japan having switched allegiances last year to his mother's homeland.

The 30-year-old, who hails from the Sydney suburb of Cronulla, was picked as Japan's third and final representative in their men's surfing team for the Games, the Nippon Surfing Association said, reports BSS/AFP.

The surfing competition at the Olympics in July-August is taking place on the French Pacific island of Tahiti.

O'Leary's mother Akemi Karasawa is a former Japanese surfing champion while his father is Australian.

"So excited to officially announce that I will be representing Japan at the Paris 2024 Olympics!" O'Leary told his 70,000 followers on Instagram.

He added: "Tahiti here we come!"

O'Leary, who speaks Japanese, is currently fifth of 35 competitors in the World Surf League men's rankings.

He reportedly switched to representing Japan to bolster his chances of getting to the Olympics.

"To be able to qualify for Australia would be great as well, but with where I am at in my career, (representing Japan is) such a great way to expand my horizon," O'Leary told SBS Japanese last year.

O'Leary said that growing up he had been shy about his background.

"I spent lot of time as a kid putting my Japanese heritage behind me to try and fit in with the Australian culture and fit in at school," he told SBS.

Walton